Press Release

ATA Honors Trucking Leaders with Russell Image Awards

San Diego, California – Today, the American Trucking Associations honored four individuals and organizations for their commitment to improving the public image of the trucking industry with the Mike Russell Trucking Image Award.

“These image awards celebrate companies, organizations and individuals who use innovation and creativity to generate positive awareness of trucking,” said ATA Executive Vice President for Industry Affairs Elisabeth Barna. “ATA is in the trenches next to you working daily to continue to raise the public’s perception of trucking – and as you will see – the Mike Russell Image Award recipients are the pinnacle of this work in action.”

First awarded in 2007, the Mike Russell Trucking Image award is given to an individual, motor carrier, trucking organization and industry supplier who each demonstrate excellence in illustrating the industry's essentiality, professionalism, and commitment to safety on and off the highways. The award is sponsored by Great West Casualty Company.

This year’s winners include:

  • TrueNorth Companies, for their work with the ATA and the ATA Federation, sponsoring various industry endeavors, as well as fundraising for important industry-driven organizations like the Warrior’s Drive for Hope, Florida of Honor and more.
  • Northern Industrial Training, for creating Alaska Trucking 101 – a program that tells the industry’s story state legislators, policymakers, the press and public. 
  • Altec Industries’ Ken Calhoun, for his work with the ATA Technology and Maintenance Council’s development of TMCSuperTech: The Game, as well as his efforts with the Be Pro Be Proud Vocational Tech Student Outreach program to help recruit and develop the next generation of technicians.
  • The Alabama Trucking Association, for their efforts to promote careers in trucking with a social media campaign, billboards and broadcast commercials.


“The trucking industry is the backbone of our economy and plays a crucial role in not only maintaining, but also supporting overall economic growth and the demands that come with it, whether it be for food, vaccines, building supplies, electronics, or the oil needed to fuel our vehicles,” said Steve Ponder, senior vice president of Great West Casualty Company. “Many however take for granted the importance of trucking and the dedicated unsung heroes who work tirelessly, with professionalism to ensure we have the essential items that ensures our prosperity. We are having a positive impact on the image of our workforce and we are making a difference.  Each one of you in this room has made a difference and we encourage you to continue doing so.”

American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation’s freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or Facebook. Trucking Moves America Forward.
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